Inbound international travel

Australia's border is gradually reopening. Fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents can now travel into Australia. Find out what you need to be able to travel to Australia.

Vaccination

All inbound travellers must declare their vaccination status to enter Australia. Please see the proof of vaccination webpage for further information on the type of proof you need.

Australia Travel Declaration

All inbound passengers should complete an Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) prior to departure. Certain parts of the Australia Travel Declaration must be completed prior to departure, such as needing to declare your vaccination status. See the Department of Home Affairs website for more information.

Pre-departure testing

All inbound passengers must provide a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR, or RT-PCR) test.

Rapid antigen and serology tests are not accepted.

The PCR test must be done within 3 days of the flight’s scheduled departure time.

Your test results can be paper-based or electronic. Your results must contain 4 mandatory requirements: 

  • traveller name and date of birth (age at time of test or passport number accepted, if date of birth not listed)
  • the test result (such as ‘negative’ or ‘not detected’)
  • the method of test conducted eg PCR test
  • the date of specimen collection for the COVID-19 PCR test.

If this information is not provided, you will not be able to check in and board the aircraft.

You should provide your COVID-19 PCR test results in English where possible. If you cannot, you can:

  • also provide a certified translated copy
  • contact your airline to see if they can interpret the report when you check in.

Extensions and exemptions for some countries

In some countries, PCR testing is difficult to access and results can take a couple of days to be returned. If you are travelling from one of these countries, the timeframe for testing is extended to 96 hours.

If you are travelling from a country where COVID-19 PCR testing is not reasonably available, as determined by Australia’s Director of Human Biosecurity you are exempt from pre-departure testing.

Countries exempt from pre-departure testing Countries with extended timeframes (96 h) for pre-departure testing
  • Kiribati
  • Myanmar
  • Niue
  • Samoa
  • Solomon Islands
  • Tokelau
  • Tonga
  • Tuvalu
  • Vanuatu
  • Belize
  • Cook Islands
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Marshall Islands
  • Nauru
  • New Caledonia
  • Palau
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Timor-Leste
  • Wallis and Futuna

Exemptions from pre-departure testing

The following are exempt from pre-departure testing:

  • children aged 4 years and younger at the time of check-in for the scheduled flight departure
  • people with a medical condition. A medical certificate must be provided that includes:
    • their name (it must match their travel identification documents)
    • the date of the medical consultation (must be within 30 days of the flight commencing) and details of the medical practitioner
    • clear reasons why they can’t have the PCR or any other COVID-19 test
  • a person who is carrying a certificate, provided by a medical practitioner within 30 days before the day the relevant international flight was scheduled to commence, that includes the following:
    • the day the certificate is provided
    • a statement to the effect that the person has had the coronavirus known as COVID‑19 but is now recovered and is not considered to be infectious
    • the day when there was first a positive result of a PCR test for the coronavirus known as COVID‑19 for the person
    • a statement to the effect that, on the day the certificate is provided:
      • it has been at least 14 days since there was a first positive result of a PCR test and
      • if the person had symptoms of the coronavirus known as COVID‑19—the person has not had a fever, or respiratory symptoms of the coronavirus known as COVID‑19, in the last 72 hours.
  • a person who is a passenger of an aircraft on a relevant international flight that is an emergency medical evacuation flight
  • a person who is accompanying and supporting the patient who is on an emergency medical evacuation flight because of the patient’s medical condition
  • international air crew who have regular tests to meet state and territory surveillance testing requirements
  • People travelling from a country where PCR testing is not reasonably available. The Director of Human Biosecurity, who is Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, decides these country exemptions and these are detailed above.

If you have a positive, or inconclusive, test result

If your test result is positive, or inconclusive, do not go to the airport. You will not be allowed to check in or board the aircraft.

If you have had close contact with others in your travel group, they must isolate immediately.

Seek advice from your local health authority.

If you have had COVID-19 and recovered

Even if you have had COVID-19, recovered and have developed antibodies, you must still provide evidence of a negative PCR test unless you have medical certificate that meets the exemption requirements

If you have had COVID-19 and recovered but continue to test positive (otherwise known as persistent shedding), you will be eligible for an exemption to be allowed to travel if you provide at check in:

  • your positive COVID-19 PCR test result (taken no more than 3 days before your flight); and
  • a certificate from your medical practitioner.

Your certificate must clearly include:

  • the day the certificate is provided
  • a statement to the effect that the person has had the coronavirus known as COVID‑19 but is now recovered and is not considered to be infectious
  • the day when there was first a positive result of a PCR test for the coronavirus known as COVID‑19 for the person
  • a statement to the effect that, on the day the certificate is provided:
    • it has been at least 14 days since there was a first positive result of a PCR test and
    • if the person had symptoms of the coronavirus known as COVID‑19 – the person has not had a fever, or respiratory symptoms of the coronavirus known as COVID‑19, in the last 72 hours.

If your COVID-19 PCR test result is positive and you do not have a certificate that states the above information, you and any primary close contacts in your travelling group, should not go to the airport as you will be prevented from boarding.

Your medical practitioner should read Australia’s policy on clearance of a confirmed COVID-19 case from isolation.

It is important to note that previous infection with COVID-19 is not considered a medical contraindication for COVID-19 vaccination – more information about medical exemptions from vaccination.

Close contact to someone with a positive test

If you have been exposed to someone in your travel group who has tested positive to COVID-19, and you were exposed without adequate personal protective precautions, you must isolate immediately.

Do not go to the airport. You will not be allowed to check in or board the aircraft.

Delayed and rescheduled flights

If your flight has been delayed outside the 3 day window, you do not need to have a new test.

If your flight has been re-scheduled or cancelled, you do need to have a new test, done within 3 days before the rescheduled or newly booked flight.

Masks

When to wear a mask

People travelling to Australia must wear a mask for the duration of their flight, and in all Australian airports. A cloth or surgical mask is acceptable.

If you don’t agree to wear a mask, you will not be allowed to check in or board the aircraft.

Provide your own mask, and bring enough masks to last the duration of your journey. Change your mask every 4 hours, or when your mask is wet.

When wearing a mask, it is important to:

  • wash your hands before putting on the mask
  • make sure it covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly under your chin, over the bridge of your nose and against the sides of your face
  • not touch the front of the mask while wearing it or when removing it. If you do touch the mask, wash or sanitise your hands immediately. Do not allow the mask to hang around your neck.

When you can remove your mask

You can remove your mask:

  • to eat and drink
  • if directed to do so by an airline or government official for identification, emergency and safety or other purposes.

Wash or sanitise your hands after removing your mask and replace it with a fresh mask after your refreshments. Clean your hands again after re-applying your mask.

Exemptions from mask wearing

People who do not need to wear a mask:

  • children aged 11 years or younger at the time of boarding
  • anyone with a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask and who can provide a medical certificate as evidence. The medical certificate must include:
    • your name (it must match your travel identification documents)
    • the date of the medical consultation and doctor’s name, address and type of practice
    • clear reasons why you can’t wear a mask.
  • people helping others who are deaf or hard of hearing (and their contacts) – seeing the mouth is often essential for communication.

Testing and quarantining on arrival

Testing and quarantine requirements differ by state and territory. To check if you will be subject to quarantine on arrival visit your local state or territory's website:

More information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) frequently asked questions – International travellers

Find answers to frequently asked questions about travelling to and from Australia including pre-departure tests, vaccination status declarations and quarantine arrangements.

Last updated: 
16 January 2022

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